There’s no denying that Christmas is traditionally a time of indulgence and excess, but a few conscious changes could go a long way. From shopping independent fashion brands, to more conscious gifting and design-inspired home improvements, here are five simple ways to be more sustainable over the festive period without sacrificing on style.
Opt For Eco Candles
There’s something about candlelight which feels infinitely festive, so without forgoing the warm glow, just turn to more eco-friendly soy or beeswax candles, rather than paraffin. Soy wax comes from natural vegetables, is 100% biodegradable and typically burns at a slower rate, while paraffin comes from crude oil which is refined into gasoline. It is also toxic when lit.
Cire Trudon candles are crated from beeswax in Normandy, France, where the company is also committed to protecting nature and wildlife – in particular the Orne Dark Bee – in the park which houses their factory and hives. The glass from each Trudon candle is hand-crafted in Italy and the wicks are made of cotton. Traceability and transparency in a brand’s manufacturing process is key.
Cut down on plastic packaging and wrapping paper which has a glitter or foil finish and try using more natural alternatives, or recyclable wrapping paper. Alternatively, simple brown parcel paper can look so elegant when wrapped up with string or pretty reusable ribbons.
A quick Pinterest search for ‘wrapping ideas’ throws up a moodboard of inspiration including parcels tied in string and accessorised with eucalyptus and plain paper personalised with hand-drawn art. While holly, chestnuts and ivy might not be readily forageable in the Middle East, dried oranges and pressed Bougainvillea are if you’re looking for decorative ideas.
Shop Ethical and Independent Brands
Supporting small businesses when you do your Christmas shopping helps boost a strong and sustainable economy. Sarah’s Bag has long supported traditional craftsmanship using artisans that from underprivileged backgrounds in Lebanon.
And upcoming label Roni Helou (available at www.csb-shop.com ) uses dead stock materials and fair trade working conditions. Shopping vintage for the party season is equally ethical, and for that the likes of Vestaire.com has a treasure trove of offerings.
Switch To LED lights
Whether you’re decking the garden in Festoon lights, or trimming the tree – make sure you switch to LED. They use up 80-to-90% less energy than normal lights, and although more expensive they’re exceptionally long-lasting. Or as the sun shines perennially at this time of year, opt for solar powered lights and set them on a timer.
Buy Less, Choose Well
Really think about the person you’re buying for, take your time to make sure the gift your giving will be cherished and appreciated. Spending more on one really considered gift, is better than three less so – for the environment and for the receiver.
Think about jewellery and classic items that eschew the idea of trends and fast fashion. Also, try and be organised enough to make sure you order everything at once from Net-A-Porter or Matches Fashion – taking into consideration the carbon footprint of your online orders.
- Elaine Lloyd-Jones
- Images: Getty Images, supplied